Opera Mini for iPhone: Will Apple Approve It?

The ball is in Apple's court with the Opera Mini Web browser for the iPhone, which is now pending approval

The ball is in Apple's court with the Opera Mini Web browser for the iPhone, which is now pending approval in the iPhone App Store.

Opera began hyping its iPhone browser in February, claiming that Opera Mini can load Web pages significantly faster than the iPhone's native Safari browser, while cutting down on data use by 90 percent. Opera Mini has some other perks as well, such as a home screen filled with your favorite links and the ability to find text within a page.

It sounds like a great experience, but most iPhone users - save for some journalists and industry folks - won't get to use it unless Apple gives the okay.

As Macworld's Dan Frakes noted when Opera first announced the browser for iPhone, there are two reasons Apple might reject the app, along with reasons Opera Mini might slip by: It duplicates core functionality of the iPhone, and it's not based on the Webkit engine, which all third-party browsers currently use to avoid Apple's ban on apps that download and execute code.

A rejection for duplicate functionality is unlikely; the presence of other browsers show that Apple won't reject Safari competitors outright. As for not using Webkit, Opera argues that its browser doesn't download and execute code, because Opera has a server downloads content and processes scripts before sending the result to the user. Essentially, Opera Mini handles all of Apple's no-nos in the cloud instead of on the phone proper. That's what Opera says is behind the browser's superior speed and data efficiency in the first place.

The result is a unique challenge for Apple. It's not as if approving Opera Mini would open the door to all non-Webkit browsers, but at the very least it would invite some serious competition to mobile Safari into the App Store. Opera is daring Apple to do it.

I kind of like the offbeat theory Engadget proposed in February: Opera knows that Apple's going to reject Opera Mini, and all the hype around the app is just a marketing stunt for the browser on other devices, such as Android and Blackberry phones. If that's true, Apple can get its revenge by putting a Google Voice-like freeze on the app, "continuing to study" it for eternity.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags operating systemiPhonebrowserssmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?